Flanagan-Cornell rallies on special night for Mitchell

Regan Reed got hot in the fourth quarter to lead the comeback, but the night belonged to Jadyn Mitchell, who reached a career milestone in helping Flanagan-Cornell defeat Ottawa (Marquette) 50-45 in a nonconference girls’ basketball game Monday night.
    Mitchell finished with 23 points, matching her uniform number, on the night and was instrumental in her own right in helping bring the Falcons back from a deficit that reached six points in the third quarter.
    Mitchell scored her 1,000th point when she went coast-to-coast after grabbing a defensive rebound. Mitchell outran the defense to the basket for a layup with 4:08 remaining in the third quarter as the Falcons began rallying from one of those-six-point deficits. The basket gave 13 points for the game and 1,001 for her career.
    “I didn’t know what my points were, he would let me know, but I knew I was close,” Mitchell said. “I was going for it, hoping to at least get the basket or the foul.”
    “It’s a very elite club and what I asked her to do when she got home, text every girl that she ever played with in high school and thank them,” Flanagan-Cornell head coach Ron Spencer said. “She doesn’t get that without all those girls.”
    She upped the tally 20 seconds later when she converted a steal and made the free throw to complete a three-point play that drew the Falcons to within one, at 31-30.
    She closed out the Flanagan-Cornell scoring in the third period with two free throws that tied it at 35-35.
    Marquette scored on a 3-pointer to end the period and added a basket in the first minute of the fourth quarter to take a 40-35 lead. Mitchell nailed a 3-pointer only to have the Crusaders answer for a 42-38 lead.
    Then Reed made her presence felt. At first, it was just a free throw with 6:21 to go in the game. Then she swished a wide-open trey from the left corner with 6:02 left to knot the game at 42-42.
    Reed got a steal and charged the other way with a 2-on-2 break. She opted to keep the ball and made the basket to put the Falcons ahead 44-42. They led the rest of the way.
    “It starts with other people stepping up,” Spencer said of the rally. “I thought Regan hitting those 3s and Heather hitting that 3 loosened everybody up.”
    Marquette had gone to a box-and-1 on Mitchell, but Reed buried another 3-pointer from the corner with 3:46 to go and the Crusaders scrapped the gimmick defense.
    Flanagan-Cornell closed out the game with two Mitchell free throws and a charity toss from Elise Kane. A Marquette 3-pointer with 20 seconds to go created the final margin.
    “We didn’t panic when they went to the box-and-1, Heather Battice came in and hit a big shot,” Spencer said. The Battice triple came the third quarter and tied the game at 33-33.
    The game was close throughout as neither team could pull away. Marquette took a 12-11 lead at the end of the first quarter on a hook shot from Ellen Wheatland. There were three ties and four lead changes in the second period alone as the Crusaders took a 24-23 advantage into the break.
    The difference on the night might have been the Falcons’ defense.
    “I think it was pretty rock solid,” Mitchell said. “Our whole defense throughout the game was pretty solid.”
    Mitchell’s 23 points led Flanagan-Cornell while Reed added 12 and Battice chipped in 6. Kane scored 5 points and Kayla Van Weelden had 4.
    This was payback for the Falcons, who lost by five to Marquette in the season-opener at the Stone Seed tourney in a game the Crusaders scored 20 straight points to take control. Wheatland led Marquette with 14 points.